Child Protection Week 2016
Child protection week is celebrated every year and we commemorate it this year from 29 May to 5 June. Started in 1997, the aim is to focus on the protection and care of our children. The theme this year is “Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward”.
The following focus areas have been highlighted:
- Child protection
- Child exploitation
- Online exploitation and bullying
- Child and youth headed households
Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, has encouraged communities to build strong family units and report any abuse or negligence of children to our any of offices, or contact the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) Hotline on 0800 220 250.
DSD will launch Child Protection Week in Ocean View on Friday, 27 May 2016. There will be a Peace March, exhibitions by learners, the community and various stakeholders, a debate titled “My responsibility in Silencing the Violence – Increase the Peace” and entertainment. Those interested in participating in the Peace March, can meet at the following points at 11am:
1. Atlantic Hights – Flamingo Road
2. Hungry Hills and Ghost Town – New Apostolic Church
3. Seven Sisters – Casto Avenue
4. Stone Haven – Development Office
South African Police Service (SAPS) identifies children in need of care and protection as:
- Children who are abandoned or orphaned.
- Are exposed to abuse which includes sexual, psychological, emotional, physical and social.
- Those who live and work on the streets.
- Children who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and who doesn’t have support or are able to get treatment for their addiction.
- Those who show uncontrollable behaviour.
- Children who are physically and mentally neglected.
- Are mentally and/or physically challenged.
- Those who are mistreated neglected and degraded deliberately by a parent, caregiver or guardian.
- Children who are child labourers.
- Those who are in child-headed households.
If you would like to report child abuse you can call Crime Stop on 08600 10111. You don’t have to identify yourself if you are reporting a case of abuse.
Social Development offers Child Protection Services which refers to the protection of a child up to the age of 18 who is in need of care.
This applies to any child if:
- they’re under 18 years old,
- they’re an orphan,
- their parents or guardian can’t be traced,
- they were abandoned or is without any means of support,
- they display uncontrollable behaviour that can’t be managed or controlled by their parents or guardians,
- the circumstances in which they live makes them vulnerable to grooming, abduction or sexual exploitation,
- they live in or is exposed to circumstances that may seriously harm their physical, mental or social wellbeing,
- they’re in a state of physical or mental neglect,
- they’ve been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or ill-treated by their parents, guardian or the person in whose custody they are, or
- they’re suffering from a nutritional deficiency.
You can report suspicions of child neglect or abuse to the Social Worker, Community Worker or at your nearest social development office. You can also contact the Department of Social Development’s Hotline on 0800 220 250.
A Social Worker will assess each case and suggest what is best for the child.
Bullying and online victimisation
Bullying is a social issue usually associated within the school environment, however social media has brought about higher rates and more frequent instances of cyber bullying. Read more about how you can deal with the following issues:
- What is bullying
- The signs of bullying
- The effects of bullying
- Different types of bullying
- The consequences of bullying
- Prevention of bullying
- Cyber (online) bullying
There is also help if you are:
- The victim of bullying
- The bully
Other useful contacts include:
Lifeline Western Cape
Tel: 0861 322 322
Child Welfare South Africa
Tel: 0861 424 453
There are a number of useful services that are dedicated to help create the best life possible for your child. These include:
- Autism Western Cape
- Child and Youth Care Centres
- Registered Early Childhood Development Centres
- Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital
- Secure Care Centre for Trial awaiting Children
- South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
- Special Needs Schools
- Substance Abuse Treatment Centres
- Victim Empowerment Programme
- Youth Training Facilities
Take action against child abuse
It’s everyone’s responsibility to protect children from all kinds of exploitation and abuse.